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Albany attorney disbarred by Supreme Court

ALBANY -- An attorney who had been based out of Albany has formally been disbarred by the Georgia Supreme Court.

Court documents released Monday stated that the State Bar of Georgia sought the disbarment of A. Lee Hayes in January after a client of his filed a grievance against him because he was unresponsive to her regarding the status of her case.

The Supreme Court's opinion states that Hayes admitted he was retained by the client in September 2007 to file action against her deceased husband's insurer for the insurer's refusal to pay proceeds from a life insurance policy. Hayes filed the action on June 11, 2008, although he told the client he filed it two months before that, the opinion goes on to say.

In July 2008, the defendant in the case filed a notice of removal, and the matter was moved to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. The defendant proceeded with discovery and took the client's deposition in January 2009, after which the court filed a motion for summary judgment the following March.

Hayes did not file any response to the motion, nor did he advise his client that it had been filed, the opinion further states.

"During 2008 Hayes had only minimal communication with his client, and when he spoke to her in March 2009 he did not tell her about the summary judgment motion; instead, he told her he was filing motions and would keep her advised of the status," the opinion states. "From June 2009 through April 2010 the client made unsuccessful efforts to contact Hayes and on the rare occasions when he spoke to her, Hayes told her only that he needed to check with the court about the status of her case."

The client was reportedly unable to schedule an appointment with Hayes to discuss her case, and from June through September 2010, the attorney refused to return her calls. The client eventually contacted another attorney, who learned that the opposing party's motion for summary judgment had been granted.

Hayes had been on suspension for failure to pay bar dues. He did not respond to an investigative panel and failed to file a notice of rejection after he had been served with a notice of discipline, according to court documents.

The decision to disbar Hayes was reached unanimously by the justices of the Supreme Court.

Attempts to seek comment from Hayes through two different telephone listings resulted in the discovery of them both having been disconnected.

Comments

DoctorDorite 1 year, 11 months ago

Not trying to defend a sorry lawyer but the real reason he was disbarred is as stated "lack of payment for dues". Its a shame we have lawyers who are drug users and those that sell genuine Sherriff badges in out of town bars, yet they remain in good standing with the Bar Association ?? Yep, nothing like policing your own !

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beach 1 year, 11 months ago

T Gamble is a joke!!! I am so sick of reading his boring articles. He does not know what the truth is!

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Albanite 1 year, 11 months ago

Albany is blessed with good doctors and CPAs, but if you need a good attorney for anything more than a real estate closing, go out of town.

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iko 1 year, 11 months ago

"Good doctors"? Are you kidding me? Let me guess, you believe that "world class medicine" propaganda that Phoebe sells?

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agirl_25 1 year, 11 months ago

Yes, there are some good, no, there are some great doctors in Albany, and as in every town, some really rotten ones. I have some fantastic doctors in Albany, as a matter of fact. Phoebe isn't (or wasn't) the only hospital where they practiced, you know. Until recently every surgery or procedure I have had done has been at Palmyra by great doctors and staff, so let's not start putting down Phoebe North (Palmyra) OK? At least not yet. As far as the lawyers go, there are mostly lousy ones in the area....too much of a good old boy network. Look around you.....how many of you remember the drug business of the early to mid-eighties when so many fine gentlemen/farmer/businessmen in surrounding counties were involved in the nasty business of drugs in one way or another and it seems to have all gotten swept under the rug. How many other fine upstanding gentlemen/farmer/businessmen/politicians do you know of who got their wrists slapped for being naughty and got very light prison terms and came back to the area with a welcome home and a good ole boy handshake and a sneaky possum grin? There is not enough disbarring going on and everyone knows it.

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Moe 1 year, 11 months ago

My experience has been that the people who are constantly in need of lawyers are the problem, not the lawyer herself. How many mamas with their thug kid going off to prison for the third time want to blame the kid's lawyer rather than the fact that they raised their kid to be a thug? How many bitch-bumblers on their (pick it) third, fourth, fifth, etc marriage want to blame their lawyer? Some people need to take a good, long look in the mirror.

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agirl_25 1 year, 11 months ago

My only experience with lawyers was when I was involved in a rear end collision... hit from behind by a state owned vehicle driven by some kid who was a student at one of those day programs for special needs children. She was adjusting the radio and not paying attention to her driving and slammed in to my brand new Jeep and the frame was badly bent. It was bent so bad in fact, that I felt it was no longer safe to drive on the highway and you could see that the frame could not be straightened out, as two different places had tried. I asked the insurance adjuster why they could not total it and just let me get a new Jeep and he said it could not be done, the insurance company would not allow it. When my lawyer sued the state's reps said NO NO NO, they would not allow it. The judge in the matter, who shall remain unamed (a true and honest fellow coughbscough) ruled for the state of course then he and the lawyers for the state left the courtroom and had a nice lunch at the club. I don't know why you are bitter about women and complain about divorces and thug kids........but I do know that my one consolation I have as far as lawyers go is thia: I have sweet memories of the late 90's to early 2000's after the wreck when I was recuperating from surgery, that I had to have because of the mess the accident made of my spine.... my friend would come by to visit for coffee early in the morning and we used to sit on the deck and laugh till tears would stream from our eyes while we listened to my Bearcat 800 mghz scanner picking up cell phone calls from so many of the same lawyers and judges we used to read about in the newspaper...hahahaahahaha...for you see back then before the digital age....everything went out into the wild blue yonder and nothing was sacred or a secret...and we used to have such a rip roaring good time making up short stories about them..but of course to be nice we changed the names to protect the innocent but my god....in Albany there were so few who were innocent....!!!!I don't recall many complaining about thug kids but sure do remember a lot complaining about thug husbands and not getting enough alimony. We would sit for hours and listen to the calls and some were so routine. We knew the exact hour that Mr. X was going to leave his house and kiss Mrs. X goodbye and get in his car and head to his office in downtown Albany and how long it would take to get on his cell phone to his sweetheart so they could talk to one another all the way while he drove his commute. It was so sweet.

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Jabo 1 year, 11 months ago

Funny, I used him to handle my divorce back in 2009. The papers were signed and hand delivered to him within 24 hours. It took about a month of me constantly calling him before they were actually filed at the courthouse. When I called the courthouse they would tell me that they have no records of it, so I would call him and he'd mutter through saying that he had sent them. Needless to say it took a total of SIX months to finalize the simpliest divorce out there. (No kids, no property to divide and uncontested)

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agirl_25 1 year, 11 months ago

I don't know him.....don't know that many lawyers personally in the city. Only know of several, judges too...hehehehe..oh I am a wicked person....haahahaha...but know I have heard horror stories from some people I worked with in the past. Makes you want to get a posse together. I do remember years ago in Albany there was a little short black lady, a lawyer, who seemed to always be in the middle of things when something came up and I always wondered how in the world she ever became a lawyer and how she maintained a license and I think I read someplace she was finally disbarred.......whew!!!! I could not believe there was justice in the world!!

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